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Goodbye hybrids, hello hotrods at Jasper Cruise-In

    cruisein Last Saturday, like every fourth Saturday of the warm spring and summer months, Main Street hosted a multitude of rebuilt and refurbished antique vehicles.

     In an age of hybrids, SUV's, and sedans, this event celebrates hotrods, muscle cars, and vintage makes.


     From an old 1962 five-ton military truck to a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda to a historical Model-A, visitors to the Jasper cruise-in Saturday were treated with an opportunity to talk to owners about their pride and joys: their cars.

     Evelyn Moore, one of the coordinators, remarked that the Cruise-in is a good event. According to Moore, the Cruise-in serves a larger purpose than just bringing enthusiasts together to a central location. The money raised selling concessions and by donations helps fund Jasper’s Christmas Parade and local charities.

     This is Moore’s third year as a coordinator for the cruise-in.

     Beyond getting to show off a favorite old Ford or Chevy, the monthly car show gives enthusiasts a chance to share fun stories and to connect with old acquaintances.

     "It's great: running into old friends we grew up with and didn't know they [also] had cars..." said Mary Mulkey, who, with her husband Larry, boasts “Cuda.”

     The Barracuda, bought new around 39 years ago, was originally the family car Mary would drive to work every day. The Mulkey's had to discontinue using the Barracuda as an everyday car when Mary would leave the office and find notes with numbers and comments posted all over the car.

     "A friend had her car stolen two years later from the exact same spot," Mary commented. "It could have been our car."

     But the Barracuda remained safe at home for several decades until Larry decided to take it to the Ellijay Apple Festival car show one year. That's when the Mulkey's got the car-show fever. They have participated in many shows all over the North Georgia area since.

     Another interesting Cruise-in “contestant” was Troy Padgett’s 1929 Model-A Ford Roadster. Padgett found the historical artifact in an old building about 6-months ago. The Roadster’s antiquated appearance and value drew a lot of attention.

     Unlike many car-show participants, Padgett has opted to maintain the Roadster’s timeworn appearance to keep the historical charm alive.

According to a police officer present, historical charm is why the Cruise-in keeps coming back to Main Street instead of relocating to a larger space such as Lee Newton Park.

      The Main Street’s “old-timey” backdrop of older buildings helps immerse the car enthusiasts into the history of their home and their cars.

“This is what they did back then,” said the officer. And so shall it remain.

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